This weekend will be a watershed moment for curvy women and those who love and support them, as the growing body-acceptance movement moves to the forefront of worldwide media and public consciousness.
Tomorrow, Sports Illustrated will debut its latest Swimsuit Edition featuring plus-size model/activists Ashley Graham and Robyn Lawley as well as the groundbreaking Swimsuits4All ad campaign we profiled earlier.
At the same time, fashion retailer Lane Bryant will launch a provocative new advertising and social media campaign aimed at dispelling negative stereotypes about curvier bodies. The ‘This Body’ campaign will also debut in the SI Swimsuit Edition before rolling out on billboards, TV spots, store displays and an aggressive social media push.
The campaign showcases “women who love the skin they’re in and are confident with the bodies they have,” Lane Bryant says in a press release, and “serves as a declaration and an invitation to let the world understand how this plus-size woman feels about her body.”
The campaign features models Ashley Graham (below), Precious Lee, Tara Lynn, Georgia Pratt and Denise Bidot (who is also walking tonight in Chromat‘s fashion week show).
It’s shot once again by Cass Bird and builds on Lane Bryant‘s last two hashtag campaigns — the #ImNoAngel campaign from last spring and its follow-up #PlusIsEqual initiative in the fall, both of which aimed to change the conversation around full-figure women.
The company is once again hoping the slogan will become a trending hashtag, and invites social media users to complete the sentence “This Body is made for …”
It’s already given a few examples on its Facebook page, such as “This Body is made for … glamour … for stopping traffic … for making history … for starting a revolution … and (our favorite) for proving them wrong.”
“We want to shift conventional perception and we’ve only just begun with This Body,” CEO Linda Heasley said. “Lane Bryant will continue to be her platform for celebrating her as she is. She is beautiful, she is strong. The world is ready for more curves and we are leading the charge.”
As a hashtag campaign, #ThisBody echoes the recent promotion from Calvin Klein, which invites consumers to fill in the blank in the phrase “I [blank] in my Calvins.”
But while both marketing efforts engage customers in the brand’s promotion, the Lane Bryant campaign is more about the woman than the product, and offers a broader platform for women to voice their self-esteem, personal strength and even defiance.
“We see the same stereotype of the plus-size woman in the media: she is unhappy, projecting sort of a low self-esteem, not well dressed, and seemingly spends her nights at home dreaming of another life,” said Lane Bryant‘s chief marketing officer Brian Beitler.
“This Body aims to celebrate who she really is. She craves the latest fashion trends. She’s the buyer of coveted brands. She should be in the pages of today’s fashion magazines and she’s the next broadway star. She’s competing in the boxing ring. She is the voice of women everywhere.”
The SI Swimsuit Edition goes on sale Monday and Lane Bryant‘s campaign will start rolling out next week. Here’s the brand’s manifesto for what is sure to be one of the most discussed advertising projecs of the year.